Hokies Football: Virginia Tech Hires Brad Cornelsen to be Offensive Coordinator

Almost a month ago, reports emerged that Memphis co-offensive coordinator Brad Cornelsen would be Virginia Tech’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. However, many expected that Cornelsen would not come over to Virginia Tech immediately, but finish out the season at Memphis with three of five offensive coaches already in Blacksburg.

Now, the news many expected has become official one day after Memphis’s bowl game.

Brad Cornelsen has been officially named the offensive coordinator and QBs coach for the Virginia Tech Hokies, completing an offensive staff that includes Zohn Burden as RBs coach, Holmon Wiggins as WRs coach, James Shibest as TEs coach, and Vance Vice as OL coach with Burden being the only holdover from the previous offensive staff.

Along with Justin Fuente, Cornelsen played a big role in the development of Paxton Lynch into arguably the top quarterback prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft over his four years at Memphis. Before that, Cornelsen spent a year as the offensive coordinator at Division II Northeastern State after what appears to have been a two-year sabbatical.

Cornelsen coached alongside Fuente at Illinois State also with Cornelsen coaching wide receivers for the Redbirds from 2003 to 2007 while Fuente was there from 2001 to 2006. Cornelsen also spent a year coaching quarterbacks at Oklahoma State with the Cowboys going 9-3 and playing in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl that year.

Cornelsen worked as a graduated assistant at Northwest Missouri State (2001) and Oklahoma State (2002) after graduating from Missouri Southern State in 2000. While at Missouri Southern State, Cornelsen became the first Division II QB to pass for 4,000 yards and rush for 2,000 yards in a career.

Cornelsen has done well at both Northeastern State and Memphis as an offensive coordinator while also coaching a future third round pick in Laurent Robinson at Illinois State. Cornelsen is a talented young offensive coordinator that seems to be a rising name that could get a shot at a head coaching job if he has a couple of good seasons in Blacksburg.

Cornelsen is an unsurprising hire, but gives Virginia Tech another proven quarterback developer that is probably very excited to get to work with a quarterback group that includes Jerod Evans and Dwayne Lawson. Cornelsen will also take over the play-calling duties that were previously held by Scot Loeffler.

For Justin Fuente, bringing Brad Cornelsen is another great addition to a Virginia Tech staff that has a lot of continuity whether it be assistants brought from Memphis or retained by Virginia Tech. Fuente still has one more assistant to hire with Bud Foster likely to have a big role in choosing an additional defensive assistant.


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